Monday, November 11th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Soft drink marketers may need to reconsider their targeted advertising: replace volleyball-playing, music festival-going, bonfire-starting twenty-somethings with canasta-playing, arts festival-going, barbecue-starting Australians in their 40s, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

With sharp declines among the Under 35s over the past five years, middle-aged Australians 35-49 are now the group most likely to have soft drink in an average week.

In the 12 months to June 2009, around 2 in 3 Australians 14-25 or 25-34 had some soft drink in an average week. By June 2013, the consumption rate in each younger age bracket had declined 9% points, to 56% and 57% respectively.

Meanwhile consumption also declined among 35-49 year-olds—but only by 3% points, to 58%. Soft drink remains least popular among those aged over 50, with weekly consumption rate now at 40%, down from 44%.

Overall, 50% of Australians 14+ now consume soft drink in a seven-day period—down from 56% in 2009.

Proportion of each age group who are Soft drink consumers 

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2008 – June 2013, Average annual sample n=19,568. Base: Australians 14+

Younger soft drink consumers are also drinking less of it. The average weekly intake declined by 1.2 to 5.5 glasses among consumers under 25, and by 0.6 to 6.3 glasses among 25-34 year-olds.

When combined with the decline in overall consumption rates, this equates to around 5 million fewer glasses of soft drink being drunk per week by Aussies under 35. 

Weekly intake, however, rose slightly among the older groups. 35-49 year old consumers now drink an average of 7 glasses per week (up 0.1) with those over 50+ drinking 6.1 (up 0.2).  

Overall weekly intake declined from 6.6 glasses to 6.3.

Angela Smith, Group Account Manager - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“As Australians become increasingly health conscious, we are seeing the number of soft drink consumers decrease. However, soft drink consumption behaviours differ among age groups. Those under 35 are more likely now to drink none or less, while heavier consumption appears to be entrenched among those over 35.

“According to Roy Morgan’s new classification system, Helix Personas, soft drink consumers are more likely to belong to the ‘Today’s Families’ community of young families living in the outer suburbs earning above average income, or the ‘Battlers’ community.

“As the number of young Australians who drink soft drink continues to drop, soft drink distributers and marketers will need to gain a better understanding of their new target market in order to stay competitive.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


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